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Opinion: More investment is the ‘quay’ to landing fish

Andrew Leadley with his huge fish!
Andrew Leadley with his huge fish!

Our friend and neighbour in Beckhole, Andrew Leadley, who owns the Whitby fishing trawler WY212 Success lll, caught this huge halibut 15 miles off the shore at Whitby just before Easter.

It weighed 45 kilos and was over seven feet in length.

Regrettably, Andrew doesn’t land his catch in Whitby anymore because of the lack of facilities in Whitby harbour for his class of vessel, so the catch including the huge halibut was taken to North Shields where there are plentiful facilities.

These include 24 hour access, deep water berthing, 24 hour security on the fish quay, large secure chilled storage, ice plant, free use of forklifts, and many other essential facilities.

Also landing dues are much cheaper in North Shields than at Whitby or Scarborough harbours.

Whitby was once one of the best harbours on the coast with a daily fish market that had a reputation for quality fish second to none.

Years of poor maintenance and lack of investment by Scarborough Borough Council have taken their toll.

However there is a substantial annual income of over £1 million from all the activities on Whitby harbour land which should have been invested in the upkeep of the harbour and importantly the maintenance of the crumbling piers, but this re-investment by SBC has not happened for many years, which is an absolute disgrace.

I also understand that most of Andrew’s huge halibut will end up being served in many of the famous and excellent fish restaurants in Whitby.

How very sad that it cannot go straight from the Whitby quayside onto the plate.